Agra: A minister in Narendra Modi government has warned Muslims of a `final battle’ at a Sangh Parivar meet held in Agra on Sunday.
Minister of State for Human Resources Development (HRD) and BJP Agra MP Ram Shankar Katheria was among speakers who issued threats to Muslims during a Sangh Parivar meeting organised to condole the death of a VHP worker Arun Mahaur, who was allegedly killed by five Muslim youths in Agra a few days ago.
All the accused have been arrested. Muslims were equated with `demons’ and `descendants of Ravana’ at the meet. BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri MP Babu Lal and other party local leaders joined in the threats to Muslims.
Katheria while lamenting that “a man returning after offering his prayers” had been killed, said, “We have to make ourselves powerful. We have to launch a struggle. If we don’t begin a struggle, then today we have lost an Arun, tomorrow we will lose another.”
Demanding that Mahaur’s killers be hanged, Katheria added that his ministership wouldn’t deter him. “The administration might think that because I’m a minister, my hands are tied,” he said. The minister added that the meeting was just the start.
Aanother BJP leader and MP Babulal urged an open fight with Muslims, and said: “Don’t try to test us… We will not tolerate insults to the community. We do not want unrest at any cost, but if you want to test Hindus, then let’s decide a date and take on Muslims.”
Speaker after speaker urged Hindus to “corner Muslims and destroy the demons (rakshas)”, while declaring that “all preparations” had been made to effect “badla (revenge)” before the 13th-day death rituals for Mahaur. “Human skulls would be offered to his martyrdom,” VHP district secretary Ashok Lavania, who has been jailed earlier for assaults on Muslims, said.
Talking about the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, local BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg told the crowd, “You will have to fire bullets, you will have to take up rifles, you will have to wield knives. Elections are approaching in 2017, begin showing your strength from now onwards.”
The 5,000-odd crowd chanted slogans such as “Jis Hindu ka khoon na khaule, khoon nahin wo pani hai (the Hindu who doesn’t get angry isn’t Hindu enough)”.
VHP general secretary Surendra Jain and Bajrang Dal leaders were also present at the meeting, that was held under heavy security. VHP district secretary Ashok Lavania said, “The sacrifice of my brother will not go in vain. Our youths will take revenge. The revenge of the killing of one brother demands killing of ten rakshas.”
Jagmohan Chahar, the Bajrang Dal district coordinator, dared Muslims “to come out in the open” and said, “Jo chhedega hamari basti ko, hum ukhaad denge uski harek basti ko (If someone dare disturb our neighbourhood, we will uproot their entire neighbourhoods). If you want to live in India, live like Rahim and Rehman. If you try to be Akbar and Babar, we will raze your homes. We are the descendants of Rama. We will destroy the descendants of Ravana.”
Another BJP leader said, “Tell them we have now woken up. Show them you cannot stop a Hindu by deploying some policemen.”
BJP leader Pramod Gupta said, “The real tribute to Mahaur will be when no cow-slaughterer feels safe in Agra.”
BJP MLA Yogendra Upadhyaya demanded a statue of Mahaur in Agra so that people know that “protection of cows is our dharma, and removing all obstructions in the way is also our dharma”.
Police have denied that any of the five accused held for the murder had been involved in cow slaughter or smuggling. They have also said the murder happened a day after a scuffle between Mahaur and the five.